Danish Steps, Norwich University of the Arts (Tiered flooring, Lecture Theatre)

Danish Steps, Norwich University of the Arts

Case Study

DANISH STEPS, NORWICH UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS

Evertaut were contacted by major contractors R. G Carter to undertake a project on behalf of their client Hudson architects and Norwich University of the Arts.
As part of its preparations to expand its facilities, the Norwich University of the Arts commissioned the refurbishment of disused 1970s student accommodation into a new state-of-the-art building to accommodate an increase in the number of its students. The new hub includes student accommodation, a lecture theatre, new teaching classrooms, a public event space and a new office space.
Evertaut was approached to create a large tiered seating structure to maximise student capacity in the new state-of-the-art lecture theatre.

Site Survey

Owing to the incredibly difficult circumstances created by the pandemic, no site survey could be carried out by Evertaut. However, members of the Evertaut team worked closely with the contractor to fulfil the brief given by the University and their chosen architects, Hudson architects.

AutoCAD drawings were initially supplied by the contractor, outlining not only the existing steps into the room, but also the windows of the room itself which have a unique irregular design. These existing structures had to be taken into consideration when designing the tiers. Consequently, the tiering had to be manufactured at the correct angle and height to match up to the existing steps.
The structure itself was tread fixed, meaning that the steel weld assemblies were fixed to the floor with the decks fixed into the steel structure afterwards.

Seating Plan

With the University having won numerous awards for its buildings already, the Evertaut team knew that the brief for Norwich University of Art would call for a high specification design. Rising to such a challenge is something that our dedicated team relishes and was more than capable of meeting the demands of.

For this project, Evertaut manufactured and installed a complex, high specification tiered arrangement. Referred to as ‘the Danish steps’, this tiered structure was complete with intersteps consisting of steel weld assemblies and bracings, which were then overlaid with plywood decks. This thick plywood decking would provide substantial support for the acoustic panelling which was to be added by another contractor at a later day.

Manufacturing and installation

The space for this project was significant. Measuring at 48m2 and over 3 metres in height at some places, the project required significant planning when it came to the installation of the steps. As is the case with all of the work carried out by Evertaut, safety was of the utmost importance. So as to abide by company and site policy, special podiums were hired to make sure that our team could undertake their work at a significant height in a safe manner.

The building itself presented many challenges for the contractors as it was situated in the centre of Norwich alongside the River Wensum, a busy road and surrounded by residential areas. The situation of the building meant that the installation of the structure was delayed by some months whilst other works were completed. However, Evertaut worked closely with the contractors, architects and University to ensure that despite these delays the installation could be done as these other works were complete. Such a close working relationship enabled that the Danish steps were installed prior to the student intake for the new academic year.

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